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Who is Afraid of Political Risk? Multinational Firms and their Choice of Capital Structure

  • Kesternich, Iris
  • Schnitzer, Monika

This paper investigates how multinational firms choose the capital structure of their foreign affiliates in response to political risk. We focus on two choice variables, the leverage and the ownership structure of the foreign affiliate, and we distinguish different types of political risk, such as expropriation, corruption and confiscatory taxation. In our theoretical analysis we find that, as political risk increases, the ownership share always decreases, whereas leverage can both increase or decrease, depending on the type of political risk. Using the Microdatabase Direct Investment of the Deutsche Bundesbank, we find supportive evidence for these different effects.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6468.

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Date of creation: Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6468
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  1. Eaton, J. & Fernandez, R., 1995. "Sovereign Debt," Papers 37, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  2. Desai, Mihir A. & Fritz Foley, C. & Hines Jr., James R., 2008. "Capital structure with risky foreign investment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 534-553, June.
  3. Beata S. Javorcik & Shang-Jin Wei, 2009. "Corruption and Cross-Border Investment in Emerging Markets: Firm-Level Evidence," Working Papers 062009, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  4. Elizabeth Asiedu & Hadi Salehi Esfahani, 2001. "Ownership Structure In Foreign Direct Investment Projects," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 647-662, November.
  5. McConnell, John J. & Servaes, Henri, 1990. "Additional evidence on equity ownership and corporate value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 595-612, October.
  6. Konrad, Kai A. & Erik Lommerud, Kjell, 2001. "Foreign direct investment, intra-firm trade and ownership structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 475-494, March.
  7. Demsetz, Harold, 1983. "The Structure of Ownership and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 375-90, June.
  8. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz, 1982. "A Theory of Expropriation and Deviations From Perfect Capital Mobility," NBER Working Papers 0972, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Separation of Ownership and Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 301-25, June.
  10. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  11. Schnitzer, Monika, 1997. "Debt vs. Foreign Direct Investment: The Impact of Sovereign Risk on the Structure of International Capital Flows," CEPR Discussion Papers 1608, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Monika Schnitzer, 1996. "Expropriation and Control Rights: A Dynamic Model of," Discussion Paper Serie A 515, University of Bonn, Germany.
  13. Müller, Thomas & Schnitzer, Monika, 2006. "Technology transfer and spillovers in international joint ventures," Munich Reprints in Economics 19198, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  14. Buettner, Thiess & Overesch, Michael & Schreiber, Ulrich & Wamser, Georg, 2009. "Taxation and capital structure choice--Evidence from a panel of German multinationals," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(3), pages 309-311, December.
  15. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 1999. "A new database on financial development and structure," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2146, The World Bank.
  16. Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1988. "Management ownership and market valuation : An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 293-315, January.
  17. Schnitzer, Monika, 1999. "Expropriation and control rights: A dynamic model of foreign direct investment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(8), pages 1113-1137, November.
  18. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines, Jr., 2003. "A Multinational Perspective on Capital Structure Choice and Internal Capital Markets," NBER Working Papers 9715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Eckhard Janeba, 2000. "Tax Competition When Governments Lack Commitment: Excess Capacity as a Countervailing Threat," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1508-1519, December.
  20. Huizinga, Harry & Laeven, Luc & Nicodème, Gaëtan, 2006. "Capital Structure and International Debt Shifting," CEPR Discussion Papers 5882, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Short, Helen & Keasey, Kevin, 1999. "Managerial ownership and the performance of firms: Evidence from the UK," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 79-101, March.
  22. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2005. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521848053.
  23. Jack Mintz & Alfons Weichenrieder, 2005. "Taxation and the Financial Structure of German Outbound FDI," CESifo Working Paper Series 1612, CESifo Group Munich.
  24. repec:oup:restud:v:61:y:1994:i:1:p:81-108 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Kobrin, Stephen J., 1980. "Foreign enterprise and forced divestment in LDCs," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(01), pages 65-88, December.
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